workshop information


This year’s conference will feature 34 workshops that will satisfy a variety of knowledge levels. Participants have the option of choosing workshops from tracks such as finanical, governance, human resources (HR), sustainability, program, and an advanced track that provides deeper exploration into a variety of topics.

View Complete Workshop Descriptions: Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Thursday, June 21, 2018

7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Conference Registration and Information

7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Invitation-Only Roundtable for New and Interim Executive Directors
New (2 years or fewer) and interim executive directors are encouraged to participate in an invitation-only roundtable discussion with CAPLAW board members. Invites will be emailed to all interim and executive directors who indicate on their registration that they have been in their positions for 2 years or fewer.

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Engaging the Community to Solve Problems and Create Opportunity

9:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Workshop Session Three
(HRCI 1.75, CEU .18, CLE varies by state)

3A. Governance: Leadership Dialogue for New Executive Directors
Taking the reins as a new Executive Director can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. It helps to have others to guide you along the way. If you’re a new or interim Executive Director, join your peers and Community Action leaders for a candid conversation about the challenges new EDs face and strategies for successfully surmounting them. We’ll cover topics such as: clarifying goals and priorities; understanding the financial health of the organization; identifying problems requiring immediate attention; developing effective working relationships with your organization’s board, staff and key stakeholders; strategically allocating your time; and tapping into local, state and national resources and support networks. Bring your own questions, observations and insights to share!

Presenters: Darlene Bigler, Blueprints; Denise Harlow, MSW, CCAP, NCRT, National Community Action Partnership; Dawn Hommer, MBA, CCAP, Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Set realistic priorities for you and your organization
  • Proactively address common challenges new Executive Directors often face
  • Assess and, if necessary, take steps to improve the effectiveness of the working relationships with your organization’s board, staff and key stakeholders


3B. HR: Opioids and the Workplace: Legal and Psychological Perspectives
The opioid crisis affects every aspect of American society and the workplace is no exception. This presentation will cover the impact of the crisis on employers and what they can do to best manage the problems that result. Dr. Andrea Elkon, a psychologist who has a specialty in pain management issues, will cover the clinical issues associated with opioid use, including helping employers understand the signs and symptoms of addiction. She will also cover some of the nuts and bolts of addiction treatment and what that might entail, so that employers will know what to expect regarding employee leave time. Michael Elkon, a lawyer who specializes in assisting employers in their issues with employees, will cover the legal issues that arise from opioids, such as drug testing, reasonable accommodations for disabilities, leave, and termination.

Presenters: Michael Elkon, Esq., Fisher Phillips; Andrea Elkon, PhD, Alliance Spine and Pain Centers
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Recognize signs and symptoms of addiction in your staff
  • Understand addiction treatment and how it may impact management of your staff
  • Assess your organization’s legal options and obligations with regards to workplace issues arising from opioid use and treatment


3C. Financial: Improving Fiscal Integrity and the Role of Internal Control
One of the most critical components of an organization’s financial management system is its internal control. Under the OMB Uniform Guidance, internal control is considered essential for minimizing fraud, waste, and abuse. Noncompliance with federal regulations can often be traced to an inadequate system of internal controls. Do you know if your organization’s controls meet expectations? Or are inadequate, or even nonexistent, controls creating serious compliance issues? This session will provide attendees with an overview of an effective internal control structure and will delve into the details of the components of internal control. The workshop will also address areas of internal control posing the greatest risk to your organization and ways to strengthen entity controls.

Presenter: Keith Hundley, CPA, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Understand the essential components of an internal control system
  • Identify practical ways that your CAA’s system of internal controls can be improved
  • Assess your organization’s system of internal controls


3D. Sustainability: Get Results With Your Appeal Letters
Whether your agency is new to direct mail fundraising or you’ve been doing it for a long time, this workshop will share great practical ideas from how to get the envelope opened to keys to creating a better appeal letter. What-- you don’t have a donor list? Now is the time to start one! In today’s funding environment, it is more important than ever to reach out to individual donors, since these people continue to be the consistent funding support for nonprofit agencies. In this session, you’ll get a chance to review real donor letters to see what works and what doesn’t.

Presenter: Jean Block, Jean Block Consulting, Inc.
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify the basic elements of an effective appeal letter
  • Employ ingenious ways to make your appeal letters donor-centric
  • Brainstorm creative ideas for your organization to use in constructing appeal letters


3E. Program: Collective Impact: Working Together for Results
Joining forces with other organizations, businesses and/or local governments to increase impact is an approach to alleviating poverty that is often used by community-based organizations. The collective impact model embodies and elevates this approach to help those working collaboratively do so in a structured way by engaging in collective problem-solving, establishing a common agenda, developing a shared measurement system, and coordinating efforts to maximize results. In this session, we will discuss the collective impact model and strategies for organizations looking to adopt it or implement aspects of it to strengthen current efforts. We will also explore current collective impact initiatives, the challenges they have faced and the successes they have achieved.

Presenter: Lev Ben-Ezra, Community Action Pioneer Valley; Birgitta Damon, Lynn Economic Opportunity, Inc.; Frank Mirabal, PhD, City of Albuquerque;
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Explain the collective impact model and how it differs from the work your organization is currently conducting
  • Assess your organization’s capacity to incorporate collective impact initiatives into your approach to achieving your mission
  • Generate ideas for implementing the collective impact model in your service area


3F. Advanced Governance: Navigating Executive Transitions
Because the health and strength of an organization is often dictated by who is at the helm, navigating a smooth transition between leaders can be challenging for organizations, especially those unprepared for the change. In this session, we will discuss the practical and legal requirements for both planned and unplanned executive transitions as well as steps necessary for board management of the transition. We will address organization-wide preparedness and equipping the board for their role (beyond developing a plan) when the transition involves a founding or long term successful executive director. We will also discuss the role of state associations in assisting Community Action boards with executive transitions, including identifying next steps and facilitating the hiring process and finding an interim executive, if desired. Topics we will explore include: the board’s role in preparing an executive transition plan; severance arrangements and exit procedures for departing executives; the search and hiring process for new leaders; compensation of the new executive director; interim leadership options; communications with funding sources and the community concerning the transition; and on-boarding of new executive directors.

Presenters: Anita Lichtblau, Esq., Casner & Edwards, LLP; Jerralynn Ness, CCAP, CAPLAW Board of Directors; Lana Shope, Iowa Community Action Association
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Working knowledge of the general roles and responsibilities of executive directors and the board of directors in a Community Action Agency
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Recognize legal issues that may arise as part of an executive leadership transition
  • Educate board and staff members on the roles each play in ensuring a smooth executive transition
  • Develop or revise strategies for current and impending executive leadership transitions


11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch Break (on your own)

1:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Workshop Session Four
(HRCI 1.75, CEU .18, CLE varies by state)

4A. Governance: Creating a Culture of Philanthropy
A culture of philanthropy or fundraising is something that should be deeply infused within your organization at every level—from volunteers, to program staff, to executive leadership to the board of directors. This session will explore what a culture of philanthropy is, provide tips for building a stronger culture within your organization, and provide activities to do with your staff and board to develop this culture. The session will also dive deep to discuss how and why the board of directors must be engaged in fundraising/development. We will explore not only the role of the board of directors and others within a nonprofit but also recommendations and ways to engage your board in fundraising more deeply, including identifying a “development champion”, providing them with fundraising “menus”, and creating resources that help them to be more engaged. We will also discuss how to utilize a strengths-based approach to build this organizational culture and how to translate a culture of philanthropy into a culture of appreciation with your donors.

Presenter: Sarah Hidey, MBA, Joining Action and Vision
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Explain to board members, staff and volunteers what it means to cultivate and maintain a culture of philanthropy
  • Engage in activities with your board members, staff and volunteers that help to develop a culture of philanthropy
  • Share resources with your board to strengthen their commitment to cultivating donors and fundraising for your organization


4B. HR: Maximizing Employees’ Potential through Performance Evaluations
Performance evaluations can help your organization maximize the potential of its most important asset – its employees. Poorly conducted evaluations could provide documentation to support employment claims against your organization and may be missed opportunities to help employees develop. This session will give tips on how to improve your organization’s performance evaluation processes and will provide answers to questions such as: Why do we do evaluations? What must supervisors do in advance to conduct effective evaluations? What steps should supervisors take after performance evaluations? There is no one-size-fits-all performance evaluation process; this session will explore options and provide tools to assist in selecting what will work best for your organization.

Presenters: Bertha Proctor, EdD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CCAP, WiseCAP Training & Consulting; Tai Blythe, MS, CCAP, WiseCAP Training & Consulting
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Explain to others in your organization the objective of employee performance evaluations
  • Help your organization take steps to improve its performance evaluation processes
  • Conduct more effective performance evaluations


4C. Financial: Policies Required Under the Uniform Guidance
If you have grants that are subject to the OMB Uniform Guidance, then you may be required to develop and maintain policies and procedures on a host of specific topics, such as: employee health and welfare; travel reimbursement; incentive compensation; conflict of interest; procurement; compensation; fringe benefits; relocation costs; and others. Attend this workshop to learn to how identify which policies and procedures are required of your CAA and to get suggestions and recommendations for specific policies.

Presenter: Denes Tobie, CPA, Wipfli LLP
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Familiarity with the OMB Uniform Guidance
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Understand which policies and procedures your CAA must maintain
  • Improve your existing policies and procedures based on requirements of the Uniform Guidance
  • Identify policies and procedures that your organization should consider adopting


4D. Sustainability: Strategies for Influencing Change
In this session, we will explore how to build strong relationships with people of influence who have the potential to unlock funding or guide policy if they were to better understand the Community Action network, your CAA, and the people with whom you work. We will discuss how board members, staff, clients and volunteers can all contribute to your organization’s ability to influence change at the local, state and federal levels. We will also discuss particularly effective techniques and approaches used by CAAs and Community Action Network partners to stimulate change and render results.

Presenters: Denise Harlow, CCAP, NCRT, National Community Action Partnership; Lana Shope, Iowa Community Action Association
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Explain to your organization’s staff, board members, clients and volunteers the role they play in your organization’s relationship-building efforts
  • Develop and implement a strategy for your organization to build and nurture relationships with key, external stakeholders
  • Communicate more effectively to key external stakeholders the importance of your organization to the community and the support your organization needs


4E. Program: Data Collection and Analysis: Keys to Success
This interactive session will explore the importance of data and information in the context of the CSBG Performance Management Framework and the new CSBG Annual Report. We will discuss how data collected throughout the Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) cycle is reviewed and subsequently used by the organization. Participants will learn about data collection and analysis and explore sample questions that assist in analyzing data collected. We will also discuss the new Community and Individual and Family National Performance Indicators (CNPIs and FNPIs) and address how they might be used in data analysis.

Presenters: Jackie Orr, NCRT, NASCSP; Jenae Bjelland, NCRT, NASCSP
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: General understanding of the CSBG Performance Management Framework, and the ROMA cycle
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Explain the role of data collection and analysis in the CSBG Performance Management Framework including the CSBG Annual Report
  • Assess and improve, if necessary, the organization’s data collection methods
  • Analyze data collected as part of the Performance Management Framework


4F. Advanced HR/Program: A HIPAA-Critical Moment
It has never been more important for employer-sponsored health plans and health care providers to pay attention to their compliance with HIPAA. The federal government has ramped up its enforcement efforts with both targeted investigations and random audits. At the same time, the threats to the security of personal health information have grown in both number and sophistication, as evidenced by high-profile breaches and the explosion of ransomware attacks. This workshop will provide a fundamental understanding of HIPAA's privacy, security, and data breach rules; explore when HIPAA does and does not apply; and address measures that health plans and health care providers may take to comply with HIPAA, prepare for a HIPAA audit, and better protect the personal information that they maintain.

Presenter: Edward Leeds, Esq., Ballard Spahr LLP
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Familiarity with how your organization collects, uses and stores personal health information
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Explain how HIPAA is relevant to your organization
  • Identify areas where your organization can improve its HIPAA compliance
  • Create and update your organization’s policies regarding compliance with HIPAA


2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Afternoon Break with Exhibitors

3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Workshop Session Five
(HRCI 1.75, CEU .18, CLE varies by state)

5A. Governance: Putting Words into Action: Board Roles and Responsibilities in Practice
An organization is only as effective and impactful as its leadership. It is thus crucial that a board of directors not only understand what is expected of it but also what decisions and actions it needs to take to meet and exceed those expectations. In this session we will use scenarios to discuss the role of a Community Action Agency board and explore how a board works collaboratively to fulfill its oversight function. Topics we will cover include: the legal framework governing CAA boards, key board responsibilities, nonprofit CAA board members’ fiduciary duties, and the relationship of the executive director and the board, including the board chair.

Presenters: Allison Ma’luf, Esq., CAPLAW; Christopher Logue, Esq., CAPLAW; Jarle Crocker, PhD, CCAP, NCRT, National Community Action Partnership
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Educate board members about their oversight role
  • Define the roles of board members and the executive director
  • Identify action steps your board could take to improve its efforts in fulfilling key responsibilities


5B. HR: #MeToo in the Workplace
This session will explain how the #MeToo movement has altered the landscape of workplace harassment, viewed from the standpoint of both the employer and employee. By applying the current state of law to actual case studies, this workshop will help your organization define and distinguish between various types of inappropriate workplace conduct--whether it’s bullying, harassment, or merely rude or insensitive behavior--and will help you understand how to investigate and respond to various allegations. We will also discuss ways of preventing this behavior in the first place, from establishing policies and procedures to creating a culture of respect in the workplace.

Presenter: Rick Pins, Esq., Stinson Leonard Street, LLP
Level: Update
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Define and distinguish between various types of inappropriate workplace conduct
  • Explain to others in your organization how to prevent harassment in the workplace
  • Respond effectively to reports of workplace harassment


5C. Financial: Common Mistakes in Financial Statements
In this session, we will examine common significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in financial reporting and determine the cause. We will also discuss the differences between significant deficiencies and material weaknesses. We will do a case study of common findings in financial audits and how to avoid them (i.e., having the ability to prepare your own financials, understanding how the financial statements and footnotes connect to each other, understanding the supplemental information that accompanies your financial statements, posting journal entries, understanding the recording of transactions and how they relate to the financial statements, and determining component units). This workshop will also highlight recent changes to the FASB accounting standards for nonprofits.

Presenter: Denes Tobie, CPA, Wipfli LLP
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: General understanding of nonprofit financial statements
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify and avoid common errors that auditors find during annual audits
  • Explore the difference between a significant deficiency and a material weakness
  • Discuss and prepare a response to common audit findings


5D. Sustainability: Fundraising with Social Media
This session will explore ways to enhance your fundraising strategies by leveraging social media—LinkedIn, Facebook, websites and other social media sites—for every stage of donor development. Whereas for-profit businesses have fine-tuned their social media as part of a marketing strategy to attract more customers, most nonprofit and public social service providers have not put as much effort and intention into their social media strategy. Organizations can utilize some of the same techniques to draw more individuals to their website/social media pages where they can be engaged further, potentially converting them into donors. This session will explore: trends and statistics on online giving and social media use; donor prospecting using social media; tips for websites to increase donations; telling your story on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, and creating content and calls to actions for each webpage/social media post; the value of peer-to-peer fundraising, and how social media is the best platform for this; creating crowdfunding campaigns; and engaging donors using proven strategies.

Presenter: Sarah Hidey, MBA, Joining Vision and Action
Level: Overview
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Understand how social media may be used to identify and cultivate donors
  • Incorporate social media into your organization’s overall strategy for donor development
  • Evaluate and improve your organization’s use of social media platforms for donor development


5E. Program: CSBG Update
Join us for a panel discussion of current Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) issues. Hear the latest on implementation of the CSBG Performance Management Framework, including the new CSBG Annual Report, the CSBG State Plan, CSBG Organizational Standards, and results of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Find out about CSBG network training and technical assistance (T/TA) initiatives and more!

Presenters: Seth Hassett, MSW, Federal Office of Community Services; Denise Harlow, CCAP, NCRT, National Community Action Partnership; Jenae Bjelland, NCRT, NASCSP
Moderator: Eleanor Evans, Esq., CAPLAW
Level: Update
Prerequisites: Familiarity with CSBG Performance Management Framework
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Update your colleagues on current developments in the CSBG program
  • Analyze how those developments may affect your organization
  • Identify how your organization may benefit from the CSBG network T/TA initiatives


5F. Advanced Sustainability: Swimming With the Sharks: How CAAs Can Move Their Social Enterprises Forward
So you want to run a social enterprise? Following the format of the popular television show, Shark Tank, this session will feature CAAs pitching real-life social enterprise ideas to a panel of experts with experience bringing such businesses to market. Join us to hear the panel of “Sharks” vet each business pitch, share their experiences navigating the business development process, and provide practical advice for those who hope to advance their organization’s self-sustainability through innovation and social entrepreneurship. Learn from and connect with your peers as they refine their business ideas and push their social enterprises to the next stage of development. The Sharks will also select and award a gift card to the organization that pitches the most viable business plan.

Submit your pitch! CAPLAW is calling for CAAs to participate in this workshop. Selected CAAs will have the opportunity to deliver a 3-5 minute pitch of their business ideas or ventures during the workshop to the panel of social enterprise gurus (aka “Sharks”). Your reward for swimming with the Sharks? Specific and honest feedback from the panelists on your business idea, practical strategies for growing your social enterprise to the next level, invaluable experience honing your business pitch and marketing your ideas in front of a crowd, and a chance to win the "Most Viable Business Plan" award. Complete this form to enter for a chance to participate!

Presenters/Sharks: Ken Robinette, South Central Community Action Partnership; Dr. Bertha Proctor, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CCAP, WiseCAP Training & Consulting; Jean Block, Jean Block Consulting, Inc.; Stephanie Sample, Sample Consulting Studio; and Veronica Zhang, Esq., CAPLAW
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: General familiarity with earned income ventures
After participating in this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify the key legal, financial, and programmatic factors that are critical to launching successful social enterprises
  • Take steps to refine your CAA’s business plan for increased likelihood of success
  • Connect with other CAAs launching or operating social enterprises


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This schedule is subject to change